This Week in the Lockout That Just Won't End

You can pretty much write off the NFL offseason

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    At least Mark Sanchez looks prepared for a summer with no football.

    You might as well stop waiting around for football.

    Monday's decision by the Eighth Circuit Court to continue the lockout until the court rules on the NFL's appeal of the ruling invalidating it means that there won't be any chance of football business resuming before the end of June. Seeing as how Monday's ruling seemed to disagree entirely with the lower court judge's interpretation, it seems unlikely that the final result will be a vote for the players.

    That means the lockout will stretch even further and likely threaten training camps and the preseason schedule. That has plenty of people worried about the quality of football that we'll see whenever there is a 2011 season, a feeling summed up well by Eagles coach Andy Reid.

    "The further it goes in, the worse the product," Reid said "No matter how you cut this thing, you need time, in practice. You're bringing in guys who are working hard in the offseason on their own, but that's not like working hard in training camp."

    That should mean some pretty deep discounts on tickets from the 32 teams of the NFL responsible for ruining the season, right? Why is everyone laughing?

    The saddest part of this whole thing is that 16 games of slightly inferior football is looking like the absolute best case scenario at the end of this wholly unnecessary mess. Cris Collinsworth of NBC's Sunday Night Football is predicting a season that doesn't start until the end of October at the earliest, leaving us a piddling number of games played by teams that will barely have time to learn each other's names before hitting the field.

    Of course, that might not actually be such a bad thing. Both the Jets and Giants would be in fairly decent shape if the league does away with the offseason so that owners can line their pockets with slightly more cash than they already take in on an annual basis.

    Neither team has to rely too heavily on rookies at any spot on the roster and both will be returning starting lineups pretty much intact from the end of last season. Those lineups have their flaws, to be sure, but you'd rather take a flawed team with continuity than one that is trying to find starters all over the field and/or one reliant on rookies who don't know the playbook.

    This could all be an attempt to put lipstick on a pig. In fact, we're quite sure that's exactly what it is, but who can be angry about an attempt to feel good about a sport that's doing everything it can to make the world hate it right now?

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.